Death Sermon Illustrations

Death Sermon Illustrations

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Death of Napoleon Buonaparte

Napoleon Buonaparte said, 'I die before my time; and my body will be given back to earth, to become the food of worms. Such is the fate which so soon awaits the great Napoleon.'

What a contrast to the words of Job: 'I know that my Redeemer liveth—and though after my skin worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God!'

(Job. 19. 25, 26)


Death of the Preacher

There is a preacher of the old school, and he speaks as boldly as ever. He is not popular, though the world is his parish, and he travels over every part of the globe, and speaks in every language under the sun. He visits the poor; calls upon the rich, and preaches to people of every religion and many of no religion, but the subject of his sermon is always the same.

He is an eloquent preacher—often stirs feelings which no other preacher could, and brings tears into eyes that seldom weep. He addresses himself to the conscience and the heart. His arguments none are able to refute; nor is there any heart that has remained wholly unmoved by the force of his weighty appeals. Most people hate him, for many quail in his presence, but in one way or another he makes everybody hear him.

He is neither refined nor polite. Indeed, he often interrupts the public arrangements and breaks rudely in upon the private enjoyments of life. He frequents the shop, the office and the mill; he appears in the midst of legislators, and intrudes upon fashionable and religious gatherings at most inopportune times. His name is Death.

You cannot take up a newspaper without finding that he has a corner in it. Every tombstone serves him for a pulpit. You often see his congregations passing to and from the graveyard. The sudden departure of that neigh­bour—the solemn parting with that dear parent—the loss of that valued friend—the awful gap that was left in your heart when that fondly loved wife, that idolized child, was taken—have all been loud and solemn appeals from this old preacher. One day he may take you for his text and in your bereaved family circle, and by your graveside, he may be preaching to others. Let your heart thank God this moment that you are still in the land of the living—that you have not, ere now, died in your sins!—Whither Bound?
(Heb. 9. 27)


Spiritual Death

Dr. Walter Lewis Wilson, in his book—The Romance of a Doctor's Visit—narrates that, on one occasion, going to a funeral, he had permission to ride to the cemetery with the undertaker in the hearse. As they went along, he said to the driver, a young man of thirty, 'What do you suppose the Bible means by saying, "Let the dead bury their dead"?' He replied, 'There isn't a verse like that in the Bible.' The Doctor assured him that there was, and he said then, 'It must be a wrong translation. How could a dead person bury a dead person?' The Doctor then explained the verse by pointing out to him, 'You are a dead undertaker in front of the hearse driving out to bury the dead friend at the back of the hearse. That person is dead to her family, and you are dead to God.' He quoted to him John 10. 10 and 1 John 5. 12. The conversation resulted in the conversion of the undertaker as he accepted eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Luke 9. 60 ; Eph. 2. 1; 1 Tim. 5.6; 1 John 5. 12)


Triumph in Death

A Chinese girl who saw Mr. Vinson before he was shot, heard the bandits threatening him. 'Aren't you afraid?' they asked him. 'No!' he replied, 'I am not afraid. If you shoot me, I shall go straight to Heaven.'

Afraid? Of What?
To feel the spirit's glad release,
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease—
Afraid—of that?

Afraid to see the Saviour's face,
To hear His welcome and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid—of that?
Afraid—of what?

A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light—O Heaven's art
A wound, of His the counterpart.
Afraid—of that?

To enter into Heaven's rest,
And still to serve the Master blest,
From service good to service best,
Afraid—of that?


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth, e'er gave,
Await alike the'inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.—Thomas Gray

(2 Sam. 14. 14; Heb. 9. 27)


Death of Kings

Within the hollow crown

That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court; and there the antick sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchise, be fear'd, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit—
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and—farewell, King!—Shakespeare in Richard II

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